In our post-carpocalyptic and post-paper world, truly amazing auto show press reveals are a rarity. Rightfully so. Why spend tens of millions of dollars to unveil a car to a group of balding, morbidly-obese, and irrelevant auto "press" when it's already been seen online by an audience a thousand times larger and more influential? But, even if automakers have to spend less, they can still do something cool that creates digital content. A great example is Volkswagen.
V-Dub's reveal of the seventh-generation Golf at this week's New York Auto Show used projectors and animations to illustrate the history, heritage, and technology of the car — and society around each previous generation — in a way that captured attention and just looked cool. Frankly, despite not being interested in buying a Golf, it was still awesome to watch.
But who cares about me? As I said, I'm not going to buy one. But maybe one of the 10,000 people who saw the YouTube video VW posted online of the reveal might. That's ten to twenty times the number of people who saw the unveiling at the show.
If you're going to spend the money on creating something cool in real life, you better be able to leverage it in the digital space by using it to create something cool there as well. Otherwise, an automaker's just wasting money.